"Our public schools must be ready to provide a quality education for every child. It is unacceptable that teachers find themselves needing to buy school supplies out of their own pockets, or working a second job to support themselves and their families. It is unacceptable that North Carolina has fallen to 37th in the nation in teacher pay, and 39th in overall per-pupil expenditure. Our legislature must start to budget on the basis of what we need to make quality pre-K, K-12, community college, and university education available to all our children and families. Cuts in taxes on corporations and the wealthy come after that, not before. I will work hard for better pay and respect for our teachers and funding to meet the needs of all our students.
I pledge to consult with parents and teachers before the legislature makes decisions affecting the future of them and their students. Experienced teachers as well as newcomers deserve better pay. All our teachers deserve respect for their hard work, caring, and sacrifices; and all our people deserve a transparent public budgeting process, not decisions made by a few in secret and announced as a dictate to the rest of us.
My mother was a career teacher and principal in North Carolina public schools, and I have classroom teaching experience myself at the college and community college levels. I went all the way through our public schools and attended the University of North Carolina with a merit scholarship. Teaching runs in my family. I understand how critical educational opportunity is for our future as individuals and as communities—and how central good teachers are to providing that opportunity.
Beyond those fundamentals, it is also necessary to remember that the legislature largely is not composed of teaching professionals. The legislature’s job is to provide the resources necessary for our schools and our students to thrive, not to ignore the advice of educators and attempt to micromanage their work."